Cleveland Botanical Garden Flower Show Opens Friday

- Show Runs Friday, May 27th through Monday, May 30th, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

- Theme is “The Garden as Art”

CLEVELAND, May 25 /PRNewswire/ — Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to take in gardens and beautiful flowers.

Cleveland Botanical Garden Flower Show, one of the Midwest’s top horticultural attractions and the largest outdoor flower show in the United States, returns this Friday, May 27th through Monday, May 30th. The Show is open 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day, and it is presented by National City Private Client Group. Cleveland Botanical Garden is located in the heart of University Circle, Cleveland’s cultural district, at 11030 East Boulevard. The phone number is 216.721.1600 or 888.853.7091, and the Garden’s website is at www.cbgarden.org . Tickets are available at the door ($14 per member; $20 per nonmember; children 4-12, $6; children 3 and under, free) or at all Heinen’s Fine Foods locations in the Cleveland area ($16). Discounted advance tickets ($12/member; $16/nonmember) are still available through the Garden’s website, www.cbgarden.org/tickets , through Thursday. Valet parking is available at the Show or in any of the nearby lots in the area of University Circle, and the Show offers extensive food service and visitor amenities.

Modeled after the Royal Horticultural Society’s famed Chelsea Flower Show in London, the Cleveland show is the only outdoor flower show honored with major show status by both National Garden Clubs, Inc. and Garden Club of America. Visitors will see dozens of fabulous, all-new gardens showing the latest trends in horticulture and garden design. The Show also hosts expert lectures and demonstrations and a world class competition with horticulture, flower arranging, invitational landscape, botanical jewelry, photography and youth divisions. It is a destination shopping experience with a wide variety of vendors selling carefully selected garden goods.

“We bring about 30,000 visitors through the Show in four days,” says Brian E. Holley, the Garden’s executive director. “It is a great way to spend Memorial Day weekend and a perfect opportunity for garden-lovers and neophytes alike to embrace beautiful gardens and the gardening season. Visitors will leave feeling inspired to bring new ideas to their own gardens.”

A lovely garden is a work of art. The creative teams planning the 2005 Show are taking that idea and running with it. The Show’s theme, “The Garden as Art,” explores the natural affinities between the worlds of horticulture and the visual arts. “Everyone is pushing the envelope,” says Holley.

The featured theme garden for Flower Show 2005 is “Living Rooms – Bringing the Inside Out,” presented by DTR Associates, Inc., a landscape design firm based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. A wondrous space where the ordinary becomes unusual and the unexpected becomes the norm, the garden suggests a home made of botanical elements and is sure to elicit different reactions from each successive visitor.

The Show provides plant, flower and nature lovers the opportunity to showcase their expertise. Exhibitors include members of garden clubs, plant societies, plant specialists and horticultural enthusiasts whose more than 1,000 entries vie for top honors in six divisions: Flower Arranging, Horticulture, Jewelry, Landscape, Photography, and Youth. In addition, there are noncompetitive displays in the Japanese arts of Bonsai and Ikebana, as well as invitational design featuring amazing floral vignettes by the area’s top floral designers. Pieter Bouterse, a Dutch-educated master florist and one of the top designers in the region, is creating a massive suspended floral display for the Garden’s two-story main lobby.

World-renowned floral arranger Hitomi Gilliam is the Keynote Speaker at a special ticketed luncheon on May 27. Gilliam, who attracts large audiences wherever she speaks, introduces the newest trends in international design and explores the creative potentials of contemporary floral artistry. She has won awards from the U.S. and Mexico to England and Japan and is the author of definitive books on flower arranging. Tickets for the luncheon are still on sale through the Garden’s website.

“Grand Promenade,” a magical preview party benefiting the Garden’s education and urban outreach programs, will be held during the evening of Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available at $250, $500 and $1,000, and corporate tables of ten at $5,000 and $10,000. Call 216.707.1818 for more information and to order tickets.

Cleveland Botanical Garden, which began as the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland, the country’s first urban garden center, is celebrating 75 years of serving the community. A nonprofit garden, the institution is a national leader in urban horticulture and botanical education. From its 10-acre campus in University Circle to three inter-city learning gardens and dozens of outdoor classrooms at area schools, the Garden has introduced the benefits of gardening to thousands of people of all ages, interests, backgrounds and abilities. Since its founding in 1930, education has been the core of the Garden’s mission, guiding expansion in recent years to include urban outreach, school programs that support national academic standards, and sustainable economic development. It has 6,000 members and bi-annually hosts the nation’s largest outdoor flower show. The Garden’s website is at www.cbgarden.org .

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